22 September 2008

Dialog - Shopping for Clothing

On Sunday Morning my wife Gina and I had the following conversation about how we were going to spend the day:

¿Hoy qué vamaos a hacer?
What are we going to do today?

Vamos a Uriangato/Moreleón para comprar ropa.
Let's go to Uriangato/Moreleón to buy clothing.

Bueno. Ya vámonos.
Okay. Then let's get going.

Note that “vamos” literally means “We go” and “vámonos”, which is actually an idiomatic expression, means “Let's go” and has a sense of urgency to it as in “Let's go right now”.

The place that she wanted to go is actually two places. They are the towns of Uriangato and Moreleón which are twin cities located in the southernmost part of the State of Guanajuato about an hour's ride from Irapuato. We usually just go to Uriangato and we have an established routine that we like to follow. Uriangato is one of the leading manufacturing cities in the textile industry in Mexico. For that reason it is a good place to buy clothing at a discount. There are several kilometers of outlet stores that handle all types of clothing and it there is a “tianguis” (tee-AHNG-eez) or outdoor market flavor to it. We can buy currently fashionable clothing for Gina at about half the normal retail price. Unfortunately there isn't much in the way of clothing that is suitable for me. For that we generally have to visit Omar the tentmaker in Guadalajara. We like to arrive in Uriangato fairly early because it takes quite a bit of time to cover all of the territory on foot and so we like to arrive about ten o'clock before it gets crowded and before the day gets too warm. There was no danger of that this time, however, because the day was cool and overcast from the remnants of all the hurricanes and tropical storms even though we are well inland. After we arrived and parked our car in a convenient lot we started walking down the street and Gina quickly spotted something that interested her. She was looking for pants that are called “pescadores” or “fishermen” in Mexico but in the United States they are called “pedal pushers”. She wanted them to be of a stretch material which they call “licra” (LEE-kruh) here. Apparently people just adopted the sound of the DuPont trademark name for spandex and use it for any type of stretch material. We went to investigate what she saw and I recorded the following conversation which is quite typical:

Mira los pantalones tipo pescador ahí en esa tienda.
Look at those pedal pushers in that tienda over there.

Si, vamos a ver.
Yes, let's go have a look.

Buenas tardes, señora.
Good afternoon, ma'am.

Buenas tardes. ¿Me muestras un pantalón de pescador, talla mediana, color rosa, por favor?
Good afternoon. Can you please show me some rose color pedal pusher stretch pants in medium size?

Es unitalla y aquí esta.
The size is “one-size-fits-all” and here it is.

Cuanto cuesta?
How much?

Solo ochenta pesos.
Only eighty pesos.

Bueno. ¿Qué otras colores tiene?
Okay. What other colors do you have?

Hay azul marino, verde olivo, negro, café y gris.
There is aqua marine, green olive, black, tan, and grey.

Deme un negro y un gris también.
Give me a black and a grey also.

Aquí tiene. ¿Quiere qué le muestre algo más?
Here you are. Would you like me to show you something else?

Sí, una blusa de color azul cielo, como la de aparador, talla treinta y dos.
Yes, a sky blue colored blouse like the one in the display, size thirty-two

Aquí tiene. También tengo colores fuscia, beige, y marrón. Son muy bonitas y de muy buena calidad.
Here you are. I also have it in fuschia, beige, and brown. They are very pretty and they are very good quality.

¡Ay qué bonitas! ¿Cuánto cuesta?
My how pretty! How much?

Ciento veinticinco cada una.
One hundred twenty-five each.

Bueno. Deme la azul y también la marrón.
Okay. Give me a blue one and also a brown one.

¿Algo más?
Something else?

No, por el momento es todo. Gracias. ¿Cuánto le debo?
No, that will do for now. Thank you. How much do I owe you?

Son doscientos cuarenta de los pantalones y doscientos cincuenta de las blusas. Entonces son quinientos noventa pesos.
That will be two hundred forty for the pants and two hundred fifty for the blouses. That comes to a total of four hundred and ninety pesos.

Aquí esta seiscientos.
Here is six hundred.

Su cambio es diez pesos. Espere un momento y los pongo en una bolsa de plástico.
Your change is ten pesos. Just a momnet and I will put them in a plastic bag.

Aquí tiene señora. Gracias por su compra. Hasta la vista.
Here you are ma'am. Thanks for your purchase. We'll be seeing you.

Gracias. Adíos.
Thank you. Goodbye

Note: If you go:

If you haven't been to Uriangato you definitely ought to go. It is only about an hour's drive from Irapuato and if you get on the new autopista to Morelia and Ixtapa is is a very safe and pleasant drive with lot's of beautiful scenery. Be sure to get off at the “Morelia Libre” exit and then just follow the signs to Uriangato. As you enter the town you will be on a street with a divider. You will see vendors along this street but I suggest that you keep going until the divider ends and the street narrows down between buildings on either side. Continue on for about a block and you will come to two very good parking lots. The one on the left at #89 Obregon (which I prefer) is called is called “Estacionamiento Obregon) and the entrance is beside the Hotel Diamante and Restaurant Colibri. They charge twenty pesos for all day and the lot is secure and has clean bathrooms. There is another good lot on the right called “Estacionamiento La Cuadrilla” which also has plenty of room and clean restrooms. We usually follow Calle Obregon until it splits and then we bear to the right for a couple more blocks and turn left on Calle San Miguel and go one block to the town square. There we plop down at the Café Costeño for a nice capucchino and recharge our batteries. Sometimes I just like to sit in the square for awhile and just watch the little kids chase pigeons and take in the sights and sounds. Then we grab a twenty-five peso cab ride back to our starting point and retrieve our car for the trip home. The whole ordeal can take four or five hours (if you go with a woman) so be sure and wear comfortable shoes. Oh yes, and if you sport one of those St. Francis bald spots you better wear a hat. Oh, yes, I almost forgot...if you do go with a woman you better take plenty of pesos and some big woven plastic shopping bags to carry all the stuff.


YayaOrchid said...

It looks to me like there is lots of good shopping in those areas. And good eating. I travel vicariously through you, Bob. That is one reason I enjoy your blog. You show the REAL Mexico.

We hear such horror stories about travel in Mexico, from horrific accidents in the buses that travel at reckless speeds, to the dangerous kidnappings, and most notably the narco industry which has claimed so many lives.

That is probably why I would hesitate to travel deep into Mexico. So I think I'll fantasize that I can see all those beautiful and wonderful places you write about. More photos, please! :)

1st Mate said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me about vamos and vamos (no accents on this comment thing). By the way, what woman in her right mind would be one-size-fits-all pants!?

Anonymous said...

I have been living in Mexico and traveling to all the interesting little nooks and crannies for the past ten years and I have no horror stories to tell. The best advice that I can give is to echo the last words of Pope John Paul II, "Don't be afraid".

1st Mate,
Ha, ha ,ha :)
My wife, of course. She is small and they fit her just right. When you see some lady that is really too big for "unitalla" wearing pants that look like they are sprayed on you will know that they are unitalla. The bigger the woman the tighter the pants :)

GlorV1 said...

Bob, I too travel through your words and pictures. I know in my heart that I will never travel to distant places, but you are definitely filling my eyes, and heart with soul and spirit about Mexico and where you live. I thank you very much, and please continue to do so. I love your blog. I seen a picture of your wife Gina, and she is small. One size fits all? She looks about a ten or so, lucky her. Take care.

Brenda said...

Hello! I am from Uriangato... I love my town (sorry I dont very good writing in english) and thank you for the comments... In Uriangato the clothes are very economy and I wish buy all clothes! Every day that I walk to my work I see a pretty jeans or a perfect blouse to me jeje! This is an incovenient because I dont buy clothes all days jaja! My father buy clothes to women, very much skirts and blouses elegants! I dont think that you know mi city... Thankyou... Bye

Bob Mrotek said...


Thanks for your comment. You write very well. Soon we will return to your city to buy more clothes. We love Uriangato!

fari said...

hello bob,I'm come from Indonesian.
I'm just walking on your blog,and I saw the funtastic of your words :)
actually,I also very interest with your story teller ,hehehe,keep spirit bob,
if i had had time to vacation,I would have to visited you in mexico .. hehehe
just little of my dream,I wish will be come true :)
than,I hope we're can friendly,hehe
I have email and someday I wish,I need your information about anything.
oke,sampai jumpa bob.

Bob Mrotek said...

Terima kasih atas komentar yang bagus. Ya. Mari kita menjadi teman.

Rosemary M said...

I would like to ask when you said "Quiere qué le muestre algo más?"
Translates to "Would you like me to show you something else?" is this how it is said. I just learned to be polite to say Would you like Quisiera and so I would have expected "Me quisiera usted mostrarle algo más?" Is this too formal?

Also I was formerly a bank auditor - your purchase was 490 pesos not 590 pesos so I hope that was not the case. (:-)

I just started reading your blog. New to spanish in the past year but I like hearing and reading from people who share daily experiences. One day I would like to come to a Spanish speaking country & immerse myself in the language & culture. Not sure where but somewhere that I can talk spanish. I don't think I want to do the language learning schools. I love learning on the internet and have found many resources. Now I have added you to my list. Thanks.

Bob Mrotek said...


When I wrote these dialogs I wrote down what I heard just the way it was spoken as accurately as I could. Remember that I was learning Spanish myself and still am even though that was eight years ago. It never ends. Your particular example "Me quisiera usted mostrarle algo más?" means "I would like to show you something else?".
As far as my math is concerned...Ooops! Thanks for your eagle eye correction :)

Rosemary M said...

Thank you for your correction. I am grateful for all the help I can get. I hope my math comment was taken as it was given, light-hearted. I am even more grateful to find how conversations actually are rather than in a textbook. I don't want to sound too formal and stiff when talking. Nor do I want to overstep boundaries. Your blog is just what I need. I am sure many appreciate your blog. It's a great way to keep improving. Thanks.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.